Club captain Marco Reus has struggled with well-publicised fitness problems in the past much to his chagrin and disappointment of his team and fans.
Reus has had an amazing 2019 so far. He has stayed fit compared to previous years, has scored and assisted plenty of goals, and for the second time in his career, won the award for German footballer of the year, beating Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz and Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich.
He has hit the ground running this season and looks set to better his performance from last season which saw him contribute 17 goals and eight assists in Borussia Dortmund’s challenge for the Bundesliga. Last season, despite Reus’ efforts, Dortmund lost the league to eventual winners Bayern by two points – a narrow margin. This season, Reus and the rest of the team have shaken off the disappointment and the 30-year old has already scored three goals in four matches in the Bundesliga for Dortmund.
Reus’ best performance so far this season came in the 4-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on matchday four in the Bundesliga. In that game, he bagged two goals as Dortmund leapt over champions Bayern into second place behind current leaders RB Leipzig. The brace took his goals and assists tally to 200 in the Bundesliga (119 goals, 81 assists) and bagged him his 100th win in 167 Bundesliga matches for Dortmund (via Dortmund).
Against Barcelona in the Champions League, Reus had four out of the 14 attempts on goal which Dortmund had in the match, earning praise from returning defender Mats Hummels who was re-signed by Dortmund in the summer transfer window. The defender – who also had an immense outing in that game – stated that Reus has “come in leaps and bounds” during his time away from the club (via Bundesliga).
However, Reus’ fitness continues to be a concern and even though he has been fit since February this year, his injury problems which have seen him miss a total of 842 days (two years, three months and 22 days) in his career. In fact, his most number of games in a season (all competitions) is 49 played in the 2012/13 season and his best tally in the Bundesliga is 30, played in the 2013/14 season (via Goal). Even last season which was his best for Dortmund, he played only 27 games in the Bundesliga for the team, and it affected them in so many ways.
Reus, however, is a class act for Dortmund on and off the pitch. He averages one goal in two games for Dortmund has never failed to deliver when fit, and when not playing football, he is being a great ambassador for the club. He has been instrumental in the signing of a few players at Dortmund, including Julian Brandt who joined this summer. Even recently, he made a promise to “do all he can” to convince youngster Kai Havertz to join Dortmund next season.
Reus is a versatile attacker who can play as an attacking midfielder (10/8), as a striker, and as a left-winger. He is also quick, agile, intelligent, and possesses great technical adeptness. His shooting ability with both feet is also top-notch – he is a master of placement shots, as well as his accuracy from set-pieces. Reus is also a hardworking player and a precise passer of the ball, who possesses good vision which enables him to create chances and provide assists to teammates.
This season and last, he has been deployed as an attacking midfielder, a role he favours a lot due to his playmaking abilities, and has impressed. He has been the major attacking outlet – along with Jadon Sancho – in the Dortmund team and will continue to be so as long as he stays fit. In this regard, manager Lucien Favre will do well to see him taken special care of and rested more often so that he always is available for matchday selections.
In 2017, Reus signed his current contract with Dortmund which runs till 2023, having shrugged off interest from Real Madrid and Bayern (via B/R), as well as Manchester City in the past, and issued a statement of thanks to the club and its fans, thanking them for supporting him through injury.
“This renewal is a ‘thank you’ to our fantastic fans, who have always stood by me. The club has supported me in tough times, so it was important for me to thank them,” he said.
His performances since then have been a real “thank you”, and he still has a lot left to offer. Starring on the pitch won’t be difficult for Reus. However, staying fit will be a challenge and Dortmund must do all they can to keep him fit else they will lose the man who could be key to all their potential progress this season.